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  1. #1
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    Help with custom single speed cx build

    Can I please have your thoughts on my build?
    I am in the fortunate situation of having the $ for a custom build.
    I am a club level road racer, and enjoy riding my road SS for training rides.
    I am building a SS cx racer with horizontal rear dropouts.
    I have the option of cable routing for gears though, and I was thinking about having routing for a 1 x 9 setup available for the future if I wish.
    I also have the option of specifying the spacing for the rear axle. I was thinking about going 135mm so I can use a dedicated SS MTB rear hub (e.g. Chris King) for my wheelset.
    But the question is...would 135 mm spacing be problematic if I wanted to run a cassette-style rear road hub in the future for a 1 x 9 setup? Or should I go with standard road hub rear spacing?
    Your advice much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    You could do what Surly does with the Cross Check and use 132.5 rear spacing. If it were me, I'd go with the option for cable and a derailleur, just because if I had a nice frame like that I'd want to be able to use it for anything

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    Yeah, my Rob Roy has 132.5 spacing as well (with a 120 hub, lol), which I think is pretty clever. I barely even notice the extra 2.5 mm.
    1988 Miele Azsora

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    Thankyou Andy, I can specify that option.

    Can I also ask your advice on the drivetrain?
    I was not wanting to go down the path of integrated cranksets (Pauls,White Industries). For familiarity and ease of use I was planning to use a track crankset with a 42mm chainline (DuraAce 144 BCD, 42T, 135mm cranks).
    Firstly, would a track BB (Sugino, shimano) be OK for CX or should I punt for a Phil Wood.
    Second, is a 42mm chainline achievable with a SS rear MB hub and track BB/cranks?

    Or should I stop mixing things up, cut to the chase and go track hubs, track cranks, 42mm chainline?
    Or go SS MTB setup with 52mm chainline, MTB hubs, and SS MTB cranks?

    If I go 1x9 in the future I would be changing to road cranks & road rear cassette hub anyway (e.g. SRAM Force) so that's not an issue at this time.

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    I doubt you can get a 42mm chainline with a MTB hub. In fact, with my Formula flip/flip hub, even though I get a 42mm chainline with the fixed cog, it goes to 45 when I use my freewheel. Of course, that will change based on what freewheel you use.

    So, I guess what I would say is that I think you should figure out your cranks, bottom bracket, hub and freewheel as a set chosen to give you the chainline you want. Beyond that, you've got a lot of options and it's a matter of personal preference.

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    Thankyou. Your assistance has helped clarify my thoughts.
    I will go with a standard road spaced frame, dura ace low flange F/R track hubs, dura ace BB, dura ace cranks 135mm 144BCD 42T 1/8", and an 18 or 20T shimano freewheel.
    This should give a nice chainline, a familiar setup, and allow for road hub/road cranks/rear derailleur in the future.
    How should I run the front/rear spoke count for cross? 36 F/R with some light rims (thinking carbon)?

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    36 will work, but you probably don't need that many unless you're a clydesdale. 32 should be more than adequate for a super-durable wheel.

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    this bike sounds like a train wreck.

    Quote Originally Posted by justinrb View Post
    I was not wanting to go down the path of integrated cranksets (Pauls,White Industries). For familiarity and ease of use I was planning to use a track crankset with a 42mm chainline (DuraAce 144 BCD, 42T, 135mm cranks).
    Firstly, would a track BB (Sugino, shimano) be OK for CX or should I punt for a Phil Wood.
    135mm length cranks!? you've typed it twice. is it a double typo, or are you child sized?

    so, i'm assuming you have square taper da track cranks if you're talking about running a phil bb. phil bb's have a campy taper and would not work with the da cranks. also, i'm not certain about this, but don't sugino bb's and cranks have different tapers than either campy or da?

    Quote Originally Posted by justinrb View Post
    If I go 1x9 in the future I would be changing to road cranks & road rear cassette hub anyway (e.g. SRAM Force) so that's not an issue at this time.
    why not run a road crank regardless of your setup so swapping back and forth isn't so much work and spare parts? you would then also have the chainline adjustability of running the chainring on the inside or the outside of the spider.

    Quote Originally Posted by justinrb View Post
    I will go with a standard road spaced frame, dura ace low flange F/R track hubs, dura ace BB, dura ace cranks 135mm 144BCD 42T 1/8", and an 18 or 20T shimano freewheel.
    This should give a nice chainline, a familiar setup, and allow for road hub/road cranks/rear derailleur in the future.
    track hubs in the mud? you must have money to burn. so will you space the hubs out to fit properly in a 130 frame? why would you run 120mm spaced track hubs when you might switch to gears later? why not run a 130 single speed hub? perhaps something with sealed bearings? track hubs have less sealing for lower drag and so forth. are you wanting to rebuild your hubs more frequently? shimano freewheels are junk. if you're so inclined to fancy-ness, look into a white industries freewheel.

    Quote Originally Posted by justinrb View Post
    How should I run the front/rear spoke count for cross? 36 F/R with some light rims (thinking carbon)?
    36 spokes is probably overkill, unless you're a clyde. i doubt you could find a carbon rim in a 36 drilling anyways. are you thinking of tubular or clincher? you better be fast if you show up to a race with carbon rims.

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    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinrb View Post
    Thankyou. Your assistance has helped clarify my thoughts.
    I will go with a standard road spaced frame, dura ace low flange F/R track hubs, dura ace BB, dura ace cranks 135mm 144BCD 42T 1/8", and an 18 or 20T shimano freewheel.
    This should give a nice chainline, a familiar setup, and allow for road hub/road cranks/rear derailleur in the future.
    How should I run the front/rear spoke count for cross? 36 F/R with some light rims (thinking carbon)?
    I don't think dura ace track components are a good idea if you plan on actually racing ss cx. IIRC dura ace track hubs aren't sealed at all. I think most high-end track components aren't sealed because they don't need to be as they're meant for a velodrome. The case might be the same for the bb possibly.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  10. #10
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    You guys are right, this bike is a trainwreck. A little bit of knowledge on my part can be a dangerous thing.
    Although I have a track bike, and a road singlespeed, I am finding a steep learning curve translating this to cross, and leaving the door open for a 1 x 9 setup in the future.

    So really I am using your advice to avoid a costly disaster.

    Could you bear with me a little longer while I summarise your suggestions:
    Space frame at 135 or 132.5 to allow use of dedicated SS MTB hubs (e.g. Phil Wood)
    Use sealed hubs 130 - 135 mm
    Run road cranks and road BB (I was hoping to be able to use many of my track spare parts compatible with a DA 42T 144 BCD crankset so I can interchange my set of chainrings easily). Would a DA track BB and 175mm DA crankset be an option or should I forget this too? Or run a Phil Wood BB with what crankset??
    White Industries freewheel
    32 spoke drilling
    If I am going to look ridiculous with carbon rims, what about Mavic Open Pro ceramic?

    Regards,
    JB

  11. #11
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    I've just noticed you can get a Dura Ace 7700 road BB with sealed bearings that is compatible with DA 7710 track cranks & 144 BCD spider

  12. #12
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    Just to show that your help on this forum works, I have appended my lastest spec and I hope you agree it's moved in the right direction:

    Frame: 130mm spacing, horizontal dropouts, cable routing to rear, rear derailleur hanger
    Crankset: Paul's ISO Road crank (silver) 170mm length + 39T chainring
    Chain: SRAM PC7X
    Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood 110.5mm campy taper BB
    Rear freewheel cog: White Industries DOS 17T/19T (customer supplied)
    Pedals: Crank Brothers Ti Egg Beaters (customer supplied)
    Front/Rear Tires: Tufo dry course 32 tubulars
    Front Hub: White Industries H2 road hub 100mm (black anodized) 2x28H
    Front Rim: 700c tubular
    Rear Rim: 700c tubular
    Rear hub: White Industries standard ENO single speed hub (black anodized) 130mm, ? 3x32H

  13. #13
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    Personally, if running geared in the future is a consideration, I would have the bike built with with 130mm rear spacing (normal road) and sliding drop-outs (like the 2010 Gary Fisher Presidio, or any number of mtn bikes). Rear derailler cable stops along the top tube, along with the rear brake cable.

    I'd run a normal road rear hub with spacers - that way I can re-use the wheel when I wanted to run gears by swapping spacers for a full cassette. And the chainline can be tweaked by shifting spacers around, should the need arise. Running a single-speed specific hub might get you a bit of strength (less dish), but I'm not convinced it's a big deal (given that everybody running gears has to deal with the dish).

    For rims, I'd probably go with DT Swiss R1.2s. They have a slight aero profile, but the weight is still reasonable. Or, if I wanted to go lightweight, I'd pick one of the niobium alloy rims (several brands, but I think they're all out of the same factory). 3 cross, 32 hole front and rear, unless I feeling weight-weenie-ish, then I might go 24F/28R or something like that.

  14. #14
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    If I was building a SS CX frame from the ground up I would want the following features:

    1. 130mm spacing to use almost any road wheel (including tubulars that I already have)

    2. Angle the track ends to the same degree as horiz dropouts. This was you don't have to adjust your rear brakes with gearing changes.

    3. for the geared option, I would run all toptube routing and braze a RD hanger on the track end so that the proper position for gears is when the axle is completely forward in the track end.

    Use as many road standard parts as possible. They are abundant and cheaper than all the boutique stuff you are listing. If you race, you will break stuff.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  15. #15
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    if you have the double freewheel and a road crank on there, why not run two chain rings as well?
    1988 Miele Azsora

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynikal View Post
    If I was building a SS CX frame from the ground up I would want the following features:

    1. 130mm spacing to use almost any road wheel (including tubulars that I already have)

    2. Angle the track ends to the same degree as horiz dropouts. This was you don't have to adjust your rear brakes with gearing changes.

    3. for the geared option, I would run all toptube routing and braze a RD hanger on the track end so that the proper position for gears is when the axle is completely forward in the track end.

    Use as many road standard parts as possible. They are abundant and cheaper than all the boutique stuff you are listing. If you race, you will break stuff.
    +1 on all the advice above.
    Also, if I were getting a custom frame, in addition to the angled track ends, I would want built in tensioner screws. Like the ones I've seen on some rock lobster ss 'cross frames.

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